~ by Trinanjan Chakraborty
The Pradhan Mantri Grameen Awaas Yojana (PMAY-G) – the government’s flagship scheme to provide pucca housing in rural areas – has been making shockingly low progress in in the current financial year. Against a target of 61.50 lakh houses to be constructed in FY 20-21, only 13, 268 structures (~0.2%) have been completed as of date – leaving a shortfall of 99.8% to be completed by end of March of next year. The other stats pertaining to the current FY performance are as below:
- Total beneficiaries registered – 32.4% (of target)
- Total geo-tagged – 27.7% (of target)
- Total houses sanctioned – 26.6% (of target)
A look at the state level performance reveals that the poor performance spreads across the states. Among the 15 states with highest rural population, Rajasthan with 1.5% of target houses completed is the best performer. Rajasthan also accounts for 49% of all houses completed under the scheme in the current fiscal.
In majority of these states, not a single house has been completed. Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state and home to more 155 million people in its rural areas (census 2011), has only 33 beneficiaries registered in the current fiscal with not a single house sanctioned. Bihar, the next most populous (92.3 mln rural popn) has sanctioned 13.8% and completed 0.003% of its target houses. The situation is no better in the smaller states.
While it is true that the covid-19 induced lockdown has adversely affected the implementation of the scheme (especially house construction), yet since June, the economy has been gradually reopening to economic activities and such poor on-ground performance across the table is difficult to accept or justify. Moreover, while construction/completion delays are explainable somewhat due to lockdown, even sanctioning of houses is way off with several states registering a zero there as well.
Also, the slowdown in progress is not a recent phenomenon. The % of target house completion stood at just 43% in FY 19-20, as compared to 90% in the phase I of the project (FY 16-17 to FY 18-19). Overall, houses completed stands at approx. 47% of target with 3/4th of the budgeted time elapsed. The PMAY-G target is to build more than 2.47 crore pucca houses in rural India by end-of-March, 2022.
* All figures used for this report have been sourced from the official website of the Ministry of Rural Development, GoI